Keyport lies in the middle of the NJ Bayshore area and is the gateway to NJ's famed Raritan Bay fishing. The Keyport area hosts a number marinas, a public launch ramp, fuel docks as well as a wide variety of bait tackle stores.
Depending on the time of year most Party Boats will fish for the following species:
March - April: Blackfish, Ling, Cod
April - May: Winter Flounder
June - September: Fluke, Bluefish, Striped Bass, Weakfish
Many Keyport, NJ Charter Boats will fish for the same species as the Party Boats and will also fish offshore for Sharks from June - September and Tuna during August through early October.
Some Fishing Tips
Surf Fishing is good along all the local beaches especially in the spring. The first Stripers of the season are usually caught in the area in April/May.
Fluke fishing is excellent around the Keyport channel which starts at the 1 can that marks the entrance to the Harbor from the Raritan Bay. Other areas in close proximity are: "The Triangle" which is a few miles NW of Keypor in Raritan Bay between Tottenville on the Staten Island side and South Amboy on the NJ Side. The area is formed by the Raritan Reach channel and the channel coming out of the Aurthur Kill merging. Other spots not to overlook are the Raritan Reach channel ledges and the Keansburg borrow pit which is a football field size hole about 1/2 mile due east of the tip of Keansburg peer. Drifting a combination of a strip of squid and a kellie is the most popular way to fish.
Flounder fishing is best in the April and May time frame. Chumming is a necessity to improve
your chances of catching a good number of fish. Anchoring is the usual fare dropping down either
blood or sandworms. The Harbor and the mud flats west of the Keyport 1 can are popular spots. These areas usually attract the first flounder of the season since the shallow Harbor waters and mud warms up the water to put the fish on the feed.
Striped Bass can be caught fairly regularly from shore in the early spring and out in the Raritan bay as the water warms up in late spring.
Bluefish are regular visitors in Keyport Harbor. Diving birds are a sure sign there are Bluefish
in the area. The most popular way to fish for Blues is to anchor your boat chum with ground bunker
to attract the fish while dropping back cut bunker. Make sure to use a heavy mono or wire leader
since these fish a sharp teeth that will make short order of 10 - 15 lb mono. Night time is great for
Bluefish as well.
Blackfish fishing is best done by boat since. Check out any of the local rockpiles out in Raritan Bay. If your not in the rocks or on a wreck your not going to catch.
Weakfish fishing in the Harbor by the sailboat moorings is pehaps the best spot in the state. Drifting sandworms from a boat is the ticket here.
Tuna are targeted in the summer months offshore in the Canyons.
Sharks are targeted all through the summer months and can be are usually be caught inshore of the canyons anywhere from 15 – 50 miles out.
Please be responsible and only keep what you intend to eat and practice catch and release!
Party Boating - Make sure to arrive early and get a good spot on the boat. You want to stay near the bow or the stern this way you can fish comfortably regardless of the direction the boat is drifting.
Charter Boats - Book trips early and make sure you have a species in mind and have a back up spices in case the fish don't cooperate. Make sure and discuss it with the captain so they are prepared and are in agreement. In the case of fishing for Tuna, make sure you are aware of the captains rules as far as keeping fish. Some boats, especially when giant Tuna fishing, will keep most of what their charters catch.